What practical ways have you found to “seek first God’s Kingdom” during this wonderful holiday? Let me add a few more and hopefully something will resonate with you and contribute to your celebration of what is perhaps the greatest event in all human history.
THE STATUS QUO: There’s hardly a family with children still at home that does not, in some way, give a nod to the commercialism of Easter Bunnies and chocolate eggs, new outfits to wear to church, special menus for family celebration meals, Easter egg hunts. I’m not suggesting you take these things away, though I would recommend you look at the amount you spend on your Easter traditions and, possibly, adjust this. Perhaps, if you talked this over with the whole family, you could come up with ways to release some funds to send overseas or across town to bless some who are less fortunate than you are.
A GAME: What if you gathered your household around you and talked about the spiritual significance of the coming weekend. Encourage family members to share what their favorite parts of the Bible account are. What makes them sad, mad and glad. Let them list these answers separately on 3X5 cards, one card for each example of one of the emotions. Younger children can record answers by drawing pictures. Gather up all the cards and let one person hide the cards around an area that is marked out for a treasure hunt. Let family members hunt, find and collect the cards and bring them back to share with everyone. Turn these into prayer, telling your Heavenly Father what about Jesus’ death and resurrection makes you sad, mad or glad.
Read the Easter story from South Africa found in this months’s KidZ KaN for Families. Go to www.kidzkan.org subscribe and downloard it for a whole year of this missional, monthly e-magazine for the family.
MEDIA RESOURCES: The Story of Jesus for Families is available through Inspirational Films. EE-TAOW, The Next Chapter can be ordered from Vision Video. Chose segments from either of these for viewing sometime during the weekend.
FIND a fascinating story from the Philippines along with a great recipe to demonstrate the empty tomb and take time for this along with egg coloring. http://www.wycliffe.org/Resources/Kids/FreeCurriculum/HolidayLessons.aspx!
MAKE a banner to hang across an archway in your home, or some prominent place, that says, “HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED!” Use these words as a responsive greeting when you waken Easter morning, or when guests arrive for dinner.
LOOK FOR an ‘old fashioned’ hymn that celebrates Jesus’ resurrection and learn the words, if not the tune, to recite together before eating your Sunday meal.
FOR THE TRULY BRAVE OF HEART! If your children are old enough, consider making the hours between noon on Friday and early Sunday morning a sober time for reflection. Agree to turn off the TV’s in your home…indeed, cover them up. Put away on-line games and other forms of entertainment. Cease texting and emailing.
Spend time reading the passages of Scripture in the Bible and Bible story books that give the account of how Jesus died, was buried and then rose again. Encourage journaling, take walks, prepare food and consider acts of kindness you can do for friends, neighbors and each other. Work together as a family (maybe divide into two teams?) to clean the house and prepare for guests if you are hosting the family celebration.
In other words, deliberately turn this time into a period where family members are encouraged and helped to be thoughtful, spending quiet periods alone and with others, savoring relationships, focusing on God and His great love as demonstrated in Jesus’s death for our forgiveness.
Don’t be discouraged if this proves to be difficult. Do try to explain beforehand why it’s important to prepare your hearts, your home for Jesus. He lives! What a glorious reality – He has risen indeed!
Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior!
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!
Up from the grave He arose with a mighty triumph o’er His foes.
He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
by Robert Lowry